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Shining a Light on Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

A study by Colin Young, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology and physiology at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, seeks to better illuminate the role of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

NAFLD is the accumulation of fat in the liver of people who drink little or no alcohol, and affects one in three Americans. On the basis of previous studies, researchers believe that ER stress, a protein folding process in the brain, is involved in the generation and maintenance of NAFLD. However, changes in the nervous system are not well understood.

Young and his team’s current study, which received more than $2.4 million from the National Institutes of Health, aims to help researchers better understand the role of forebrain and hypothalamic ER stress in obesity-induced hepatic sympathetic overactivity and NAFLD development.

The grant will fund the project through March 2023.